Raje meets legislators amid her ouster call

Raje meets legislators amid her ouster call

Under pressure to resign for allegedly favouring former IPL chief Lalit Modi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Thursday met BJP legislators to gauge her support in the party.

Raje met at least 20 Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including cabinet colleagues, legislators and BJP functionaries at her official residence since the morning, BJP sources said.
More BJP leaders, including legislators, were expected to meet her on Thursday and Friday, the sources added.

"It seems the meeting with MLAs and others is a pressure tactic. She wants to tell the BJP leaders that she enjoys the support of the BJP state unit," a BJP leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

BJP leaders admit that Vasundhara Raje was passing through one of the worst periods of her political career.

The BJP national leadership is apparently divided over Vasundhara Raje since the Congress alleged that she signed a witness statement in support of Lalit Modi's immigration application to Britain.

Lalit Modi faces charges of financial irregularities.

But Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore, a known backer of the chief minister, ruled out her resignation.

"The BJP is fully behind the chief minister. There is no question of her resigning," he said here.

What has seriously embarrassed the BJP is Vasundhara Raje's reported statement that she did not want her support to Lalit Modi to be made known to Indian authorities.

The BJP, which crushed the Congress in the 2013 assembly elections, has 160 legislators in the 200-member assembly. Most support the chief minister, party sources say.

Vasundhara Raje is in her second innings as the Rajasthan chief minister. She was the first woman chief minister of the state from 2003 to 2008.

The Congress has taken an aggressive stand against Vasundhara Raje. The CPI-M and the Aam Aadmi Party have also demanded her immediate resignation over the Lalit Modi affair.

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